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One Million East Timorese Visit Indonesia, Spend $187 per Visit
TheIndonesia.id - Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno hopes that foreign tourists from neighboring Timor Leste can increase spending when visiting various regions in the Republic of Indonesia (RI). In 2020, more than one million East Timorese entered Indonesian territory.
"If you look at the spending of East Timorese tourists, it doesn't have a significant impact, only about 187.71 US dollars per visit or 31.34 US dollars per day," he said during a meeting with the Indonesian Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Timor Leste (RDTL), Okto Dorinus Manik, at a media briefing in Jakarta, Monday, April 4, 2022.
Tourists from Timor Leste are advised to buy creative economy products from Indonesia, especially in the Province of East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) - which is a border area. Even so, he said, the number of East Timorese tourists visiting Indonesia was quite large. In 2020 it reaches more than one million tourists.
On the same occasion, he followed up on the tourism memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two countries which contained "joint promotion" and increased the capacity and competence of human resources. Various activities are synergized to boost the economy and create wider job opportunities for the two countries, such as the Border Festival between Indonesia's East Nusa Tenggara Province and Timor Leste.
"Support around the border, if there is a Border Festival, it will be interesting, so that it will not only increase tourist visits but also our creative economy products," Uno said.
The Ministry is also considering granting a visit visa on arrival (VoA) for foreign tourists from Timor Leste, especially to the provinces of Bali and NTT, as requested by Ambassador Okto Dorinus. "I understand very well, that Bali is a strategic location for East Timorese tourists to transit or do other activities. For visas to visit Bali and NTT, please write, we will raise it at the weekly coordination meeting for us to follow up," he said.
Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno stated that he would coordinate with various related parties to provide direct flights from Timor Leste to several regions in Indonesia, such as Bali, Surabaya, Jakarta, and Medan.
Ambassador Okto Dorinus hopes that the tourism MoU can be concluded soon, considering that Timor Leste has already approved the decision.